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Shortly after midnight on September 2, 1666, a fire broke out in a bakery on Pudding Lane in the City of London. Within three hours the house was engulfed and fire had begun to spread through the city of closely-built, half-timbered houses, dry as a tinderbox after a long hot summer.
The exhibition Fire! Fire! marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire which destroyed much of the old medieval city and became a turning point in the story of London.
The Design Museum opens its doors at the end of November at its new home on Kensington High Street. The new museum, which has taken over the old Commonwealth Institute building, has three times more space to exhibit in than ever before and, for the first time in its history, has a new permanent collection.
The museum’s new home, which is situated on the edge of Holland Park, brings it into ‘Kensington’s cultural quarter’, near to the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and the Serpentine Gallery.
Two Tom Stoppard plays are being staged this springtime in London, both with starry casting.
First up is Travesties, which has transferred from a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Starring the versatile actor Tom Hollander (whose range in the past has included the lovable vicar in BBC’s Rev and the sinister henchman in the BBC hit The Night Manager last year). Here he plays a British diplomat in Zurich during the First World War, whose circle include Lenin, Dadaist Tristan Tzara (played by Freddie Fox) and James Joyce among others. It’s directed by Patrick Marber (also directing his own play Don Juan in Soho starring David Tennant this spring).
The Science Museum’s big spring/summer exhibition, Robots, looks at human fascination with the machines throughout history, and features 100 different robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to Cyan, a huge humanoid robot built in 1957.
The exhibition is set over five different time periods showing how robots have changed over time, and influences have included religious belief, the industrial revolution and 20th-century popular culture.
Tate Britain is staging the biggest ever David Hockney retrospective this spring covering the artist’s career from the early 1960s to the present day, and from his painting and prints to photography and video.
From his portraits and Los Angeles swimming pools to the landscapes of his native Yorkshire and his most recent paintings (some of which have not been publicly displayed before), the exhibition shows Hockney’s artistic development over the course of his career.
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The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL, United Kingdom +44 (0)20 7235 6000
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